LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former University of Kentucky golfer Gay Brewer, Lexington's most-decorated golfer, is about to receive an honor befitting his accomplishments. On June 26, the city of Lexington will rename Picadome Golf Course the Gay Brewer Jr. Golf Course at Picadome.
A ceremony in Brewer's honor from 6-8 p.m. at Picadome will make the naming official. Co-hosts for the event will be Lexington businessman Jim Host and John Y. Brown, the former Kentucky governor who was one of Brewer's teammates at the University of Kentucky. Admission will be free, and food and beverages will be available at a cash bar and cookout.
The decision was jointly announced Wednesday by Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry and the Fayette Urban County Council, which unanimously approved the honor. Picadome is a city-owned public course.
Among those expected to participate in the celebration are fellow golf legend Bobby Nichols, the Louisville native who won the 1964 PGA Championship. The event sponsors also expect appearances from others who played against Brewer during his PGA Tour career.
The highlight of Brewer's pro career came in 1967, when he outplayed Nichols in the final round to win the Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga., and the coveted green jacket.
Brewer, 75, joined the PGA Tour in 1956 and won 10 tournaments. He was a member of the 1967 and 1971 U.S. Ryder Cup teams. He continued to post victories later in his career at the Senior and Super Senior levels. Included was a memorable PGA Senior Tour victory in his hometown -- the 1984 Citizen-Union Seniors in Lexington.
Before turning pro, Brewer enjoyed a remarkable amateur career in Kentucky while attending Lafayette High School and UK. He won the 1949 National Junior championship, along with three state high school championships, two State Amateurs, and two Kentucky Opens.
"He was always watching good players, always trying to learn," recalled Frank Atkins, the longtime pro at Picadome. "He was a quiet kid. The only trouble I ever had with him was keeping him from playing when he was supposed to be working."
After essentially retiring from competitive golf in the late 1990s, Brewer moved back to Lexington. He was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 and the University of Kentucky Hall of Fame last year.
"I'm grateful to Mayor Newberry and the Fayette Urban Council for taking the initiative to honor one of our state's greatest athletes and ambassadors," said Brown. "Gay hasn't been in the best of health lately, and I know he will appreciate this honor deeply."